Inauguration officials said Wednesday that the president has met most of the eight individuals during his first term and their inclusion in inaugural events is meant to showcase his administration’s core values through real-life examples that people across the country can relate to.

It’s a time-honored presidential practice to illustrate policy ideas with such anecdotes, and Obama frequently does so. He had those who say they were helped by his priorities introduce him at campaign rallies, and he frequently sprinkled their stories throughout his speeches. On Wednesday he announced gun control legislation before families of those killed in the Connecticut elementary school shooting. But inaugural planners say this is the first time people affected by a president’s policies have been given such an official title at an inauguration.